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Read Frederick Banting for Your First Science Journal Article


The Effect Produced on Diabetes by Extracts of the Pancreas
Canadian Medical Association Journal
First Presented to the Association of American Physicians on May 3, 1922, Washington, DC

While some academic papers can lose you in the title, the paper announcing Banting’s discovery pretty much says, “Here’s Insulin!” At the time, doctors were so desperate for a treatment that after hearing the article read, everyone rose and gave them a standing ovation.

Many academic papers are readable even without understanding all the words - don’t be afraid to try. But there are a few words necessary to know:

Diabetes – a chronic disease of two forms. Type one, formerly known as childhood diabetes, is characterized by the body’s inability to make insulin, a necessary hormone for life to exist. It was invariably fatal before insulin was discovered. Type two diabetes is marked by high levels of sugar in the blood which can lead to vision problems, excessive thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, hunger, and weight loss - sometimes insulin is needed to treat it, as well.

Pancreas – the organ which produces several digestive enzymes as well as hormones such as insulin.

Glucose - a sugar occurring widely in plant and animal tissues

Additional Vocabulary Words

Glycolysis – the process where the body converts glucose (a sugar) into another compound which releases the energy the body uses to function.

Glycosuria – the spillover of glucose into urine.  Normally, urine contains no glucose.  This is a symptom of diabetes. Before 1900 the common test to diagnose diabetes was tasting urine - doctors preferred that patients perform the test themselves.

Dextrose – another name for glucose

Pancreatectomy – surgical removal of the pancreas

Isotonic – having the same salt concentration as the normal cells of the human body.

Enzyme – proteins which increase the rate of chemical reactions within the human body

Ketone bodies – chemicals made by the body when there is a shortage of insulin and the body breaks down fat instead of glucose for energy.

Subcutaneous injection – an injection given into the tissue just below the skin.